SEC Charges Florida Resident with Operating $5.9 Million Ponzi Scheme Targeting African-American Community

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a complaint against Cedric Dewayne Griffin for alleged involvement in a fraudulent securities offering. According to the SEC, Griffin raised around $5.9 million from at least 103 investors, mainly targeting members of the African-American community in Jacksonville, Florida, and other areas. The complaint accuses Griffin of luring investors to invest in promissory notes issued by his companies, G8 Equity LLC and G8 RE Capital LLC, promising high monthly returns ranging from 10% to 33%. Griffin allegedly represented that the funds would be used to buy, restore, and sell real estate to generate profit and provide investors with monthly returns. The SEC alleges that Griffin did not purchase any real estate and instead misused investor funds to pay off other investors in a Ponzi-like scheme.

The complaint has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, and charges Griffin with violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5. The SEC seeks permanent injunctive relief, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest, civil penalties, and an officer-and-director bar against Griffin.

The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Christine Hernandez and Mark Dee and supervised by Eric Busto, Fernando Torres, and Glenn Gordon in the Miami Regional Office. The litigation is being led by Amie Riggle Berlin and supervised by Teresa Verges. The SEC expressed its gratitude for the assistance of the Office of the State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Secret Service Jacksonville Field Office, and Federal Bureau of Investigation Jacksonville Field Office.